The SmarK Rant for WWF Tuesday Night Titans – 01.04.85
So I was trolling the WWE Network and looking for something new and interesting to review, and I thought “What’s from classic era WWF that I’ve never really touched before?”
So we come upon this show, Vince McMahon’s attempt to make his own late night talk show on USA Network with himself as host. I’m skipping the 1984 shows because two hours is just too much to take, but starting in January of 1985 it was moved to Friday nights (thus contradicting the title of the show) and cut to an hour.
Your host is Vince McMahon, with Lord Alfred doing the Ed McMahon announcer / second banana role.
Brought to you by LEVIS.
Hulk Hogan introduces us to his new protégé, Hillbilly Jim, and makes him breakfast. In this case, raw eggs and protein in smoothie form, as opposed to the grits and fatback that Jim was looking for. Hulk even promises that there’s “vitamins” in there to help with giving them energy at the gym. Yeah, VITAMINS. If UFC has taught us anything, it’s that you shouldn’t trust people who give you supplements and claim it’s “vitamins”.
So they head to the gym for a musical montage over “Real American”, which had to be “Eye of the Tiger” at the time, as Jim is apparently unaware of how lifting a weight actually works. He’s not very smart, you see. Hulk takes him into the ring, but Jim is clumsy and uncoordinated and can’t even run the ropes. Hulk feels like next week he’ll be ready for in ring action, though.
Back at the studio, Vince wonders what that breakfast concoction might have been. Legally speaking, he had no knowledge of providing it to either person in the current state of jurisdiction, of course.
Nikolai Volkoff joins us, singing with the TNT Band and having a grand time at it. Sadly, the band doesn’t keep up with his high standards because they’re not Russians. To the interview, where Vince asks him to remove his furry hat, but Volkoff refuses because it reminds him of Mother Russia. To the footage!
Nikolai Volkoff v. Athens Apollo
Keep in mind the jobber’s name, and then check out what he looks like…
Bit of a disconnect there. HELL of a wrestling name, though! Hillbilly Jim is doing the ringside fan gimmick at this point. This is from Superstars or whatever the main show was at the time. Championship Wrestling? Volkoff attacks to start and tosses our would-be Greek god. Back in for some cheapshots, but Apollo fights back with forearms from Mount Olympus until Volkoff kicks him in the head and drops him on the top rope. Well, in theory, because Apollo MISSES and lands on his face instead because he can’t even manage that bump. Volkoff with a butterfly suplex and he tries to finish with the press slam into the backbreaker, but Apollo is so fucking awful that he won’t go up for it, and Volkoff just kind of drops him and pins him at 2:38. AMAZINGLY TERRIBLE on every level. I’m throwing up the Maffew signal for this match! -**
UPDATE! Before this even made to the posting stage, I discussed it with Maffew and Justin Henry, and it turns out that this guy Apollo returned to the WWF in June of 1993 as a jobber named Peter Weeks, who faced Tatanka on RAW 06.07.93. This is an important update because Weeks gained a measure of notoriety due to allegedly fudging his Huggies during the course of the match and leaving skid marks on the wrestling mat, before leaving the business completely, presumably in shame. AND NOW YOU KNOW.
We take a break after the classic action in the ring, and return with Volkoff clutching his ears in pain from the bumper music, as Vince continues his fascinating interview. Nope, first more exciting action from syndicated TV.
Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff v. SD Jones & Aldo Marino
Marino is better known as Ricky Santana from the Barrio Brothers later on. Sadly, the Russian anthem is interrupted by Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo waving the US flag. Man, that’s pretty disrespectful.
Sadly, we don’t get the match, as we cut back to the studio with Volkoff raging about this disrespect, and they should have been disqualified or fined or something! I heard there was an enquiry, but the investigator didn’t have the power to unseat a sitting tag team champion.
Captain Lou Albano joins us next with a special rubber-band custom tuxedo, and Vince is thinking there might be a rift between Albano and Roddy Piper as a result of what happened with Cyndi Lauper. So Albano declares that he’s seen the light and is now a friend of Lauper and hates Piper. So we go back to another syndicated show, which gives us THIS…
Damn, Piper is so wearing that hat! So Vince shows a clip from a news show recapping Cyndi Lauper managing Wendi Richter, and DEAR GOD why would you let either of them talk? As I’ve noted previously, Wendi sounds like Mongo McMichael and Cyndi’s NEW YAWK accent is nearly incomprehensible. Regardless, Piper takes credit for everything and Albano walks off the interview in disgust. So then we Inception back to the studio for this show again after the clips within clips and now Lou is REALLY fired up about all the shit that went down on MTV, and why the fuck is that show still not on the Network? That’s what has got me all fired up. Vince tells him to calm the hell down and we take a break.
Back with Rowdy Roddy Piper as a surprise guest, despite being barred from the show after previous bad behavior. Roddy is sadly not sporting the hat from the previous interview segment, although he’s got the same suit and kilt. So PIPER HATES ROCK N ROLL and would like to remind us of that fact. You’d likely know that if you watched Hulk Hogan’s Rock N Wrestling in the 80s, or on the Network for the 2 days it was available there. Piper apologizes for his previous transgressions on the show, but does not apologize for beating up that broad Cyndi Lauper because he’s doing god’s work and “She Bop” is a song about MASTURBATION. Well, he’s not wrong. I don’t know if Vince knew that one was coming, but he sure didn’t look he did.
So our clip is Piper facing Tonga Kid, aka Jimmy Snuka’s non-union Mexican equivalent, and this turns into a pullapart brawl once a chair gets involved, as Tonga beats on Piper until midcarders make the save.
Back at the studio, as Roddy questions what would happen if Shane McMahon came home with earrings and a ponytail. Vince doesn’t think that’s his style anyway, but Piper continues to rant unabated about degenerates ruining wrestling and society. Also, if a woman hits him, he’ll hit her back. Piper is just unstoppable on a Robin Williams-style coked up rant, barely even stopping to take a breath until Lou Albano comes out to refute accusations of skimming off the top of his MS charity work. So Albano pokes Piper in the nose for being such a jerk, and Roddy lays him out before security hauls him off at the break.
Back with Albano all fired up again and he’s again denying that he stole any money from MS and he’s gonna beat the shit out of Roddy Piper when he gets a chance and you just do not get promos like this anymore as he’s tearing off his tuxedo and Vince is trying to keep the show together as we wrap it up for the week.
Holy cow that Piper-Albano stuff was INCREDIBLE. Hope it’s leading to some kind of big event that I can pay money to view. Anyway, legit great episode, lots of fun, and I’m carrying on with it 100%.